Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.